• Brenda Hershey

Our True Power Lies in the Ability to Recognize Just How Powerful We Are

Looking out of my big window in what we call the “front room” of the apartment, the Kurdish city of Duhok looks back at me. Nestled in between two mountain ranges, its multi-colored, sharp-edged, cement buildings almost resemble a Latin American vibe. From the fourth floor, we look out over the majority of the city, consisting mainly of two-story homes.

Before coming to the Middle East, I thought almost nothing of electricity besides the $25 bill that automatically came out of my bank account each month. But here in Iraqi Kurdistan, there’s so much more to it. Certain daily activities (like blow-drying my hair or cooking something in the oven) are dependent on having ‘government’ or ‘state’ electricity, which we have about 50% of the time. The other half, we are reliant upon the generator, which means we can use things that require only a small amount of wattage (so no heater, blow-dryer, oven, etc.).

Not only are we aware of what times the government electricity will likely come on (although it’s not necessarily consistent and does drastically change depending on the season), but the lights are often going on and off when switching between the two.

There’s a mountain range to the South of the city (to the right of my apartment) called Zawa Mountain; a great place to drive up to, sip on chai and play cards with friends, overlooking the entire city of 1+ million. When the electricity goes out, it goes out one neighborhood at a time. So from the top of Zawa, all of a sudden from the corner of my eye, a group of lights will go dark. Then, about 5 seconds later, another neighborhood nearby goes dark. This continues until a large patch of land, maybe a fourth of the city, is blacked out. And the same thing happens when the lights come back on. One area at a time, a burst of light and energy.

When I look out my front window, that wave of electricity is moving toward me and away from me. It’s as if I’m not only witnessing the invisible yet tangible movement of electric energy, I’m experiencing it… I’m a part of it, which is a notably different experience.

Pictured left: The view from my apartment (notice the full moon rising over the mountains).
Pictured right: The nighttime view, with a nearby section of the city in darkness.

Last night, as I was fully immersed in a New Moon and Solar Eclipse meditation, I gazed out the window at the nighttime skyline. Far in the distance, a neighborhood suddenly went dark. A few seconds later, the next neighborhood went dark; the darkness inching toward me. This continued a couple more times until I knew we were next. And, like clockwork, our lights went out and it was pitch black, silent. It’s funny how, even though I’m anticipating the outage, it still feels abrupt every time.

This whole side of the city falls silent in these 3 or 4 minutes of stillness, only interrupted by the aggressive sounds of generators kicking on, to the rescue.

Every single time this happens, I feel a sense of connectedness and wonder. I realize that, because I can literally see everyone else’s electricity going out, I don’t feel so alone or ‘victimized’ (our first world perspective) in the process. I am one of hundreds or thousands that this is happening to right now. I imagine if I didn't have a view like this - if I were in a home where I didn't feel this extra bit of visual connection with those around me - it would also be a different experience.

As I watch the electricity literally move in waves, on and off, I can’t help but imagine it elegantly moving through these neighborhoods, through the power lines and circuits, transcending limitations of space and matter. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. With electricity, it’s undeniable. But in the West, I never had an opportunity to witness it gracefully, powerfully moving through our world in this way.

After some reflecting, it's clear that it not only moves through power lines and outlets, but it moves through us: Our outlets being thoughts, words and actions; projecting that energy out beyond our physical being, making waves of our own, even if we can’t see their effect (right away). Every single thought we have is giving off a signal, telling the Universe that we want more of whatever that is. So if we’re thinking negatively? More negativity will come; and vice versa. When we practice- and I mean really feel- sending love and kindness to others, regardless of the distance between us, it is somehow received on the other end. Transcending time, space and matter, we have this insanely remarkable ability to share our energy with others, whether it be positive, negative or indifferent.

What energy are you putting out? How is your wave of electricity affecting those around you? Because even if we can’t see it, it is most certainly there, moving through us and our environment… and likely far beyond.

Our true power lies in the ability to recognize just how powerful we are.This is the time we’re collectively being ushered into a new chapter. We’re being guided to step into our BIGness, a more authentic version of ourselves as individuals and as a whole. One large human entity.

Let's harness our electric energy, our passion. Let’s move, let’s improve, let’s love… together.

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